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Be Your Own Boss in 2024

Business Gateway West Lothian Start Up Adviser Lenna, Watson Estate Agency Owner Sarah-Jane Watson, and Claudia's K9 Coats owner, Claudia Willunat

Business Gateway West Lothian has announced plans for a free ‘start up’ event on Thursday, 29th February at West Lothian College from 5-7pm to help budding entrepreneurs turn their business idea into a successful new venture. 

The 'Simplifying the Business Start Up Process' event will be hosted by Business Gateway West Lothian trainers and advisers and cover everything from strategic business planning and building a strong brand to sustainable practices and financial support.

There will also be a panel discussion with local business owners Sarah-Jane Watson, founder of Watson Estate Agency in Armadale and Claudia Willunat founder of e-commerce business, Claudia’s K9 Coats for pets, who both launched their businesses in October last year.  Also attending will be Lewis Gold, founder of Geeza Pizza pop up street food truck based at Houston Industrial Estate, which he started in December last year.

The speakers will be sharing their journeys so far and tips to help other founders bring their business ideas to life and take part in an audience Q&A session.  There will also be opportunities for all attendees to network at the event.

Linzi Winton from Business Gateway West Lothian said: “We are really looking forward to our 'Simplifying the Business Start Up Process' event for budding entrepreneurs who would benefit from a helping hand to get them started and gain insight into simplifying the process of being a new business owner.

“At Business Gateway West Lothian our aim is to help make things easier for anyone in business, particularly at the beginning when it can feel slightly daunting and people don’t know where to access impartial and confidential support.

“Our trainers and advisers will be on hand at the event to answer any questions and offer advice on the processes from planning and marketing to financial projections and HR, and attendees will also be able to hear from our three new start-up guests on their experiences and learnings, and network with other businesses.”

Sarah-Jane Watson said: “Since launching my business in September 2023, it's been quite the rollercoaster ride. The support I've received from Business Gateway West Lothian, starting from our initial conversation, has been invaluable in navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship.

“This includes assistance in accessing grant support and crafting a business plan that has effectively steered my business forward and been instrumental in keeping me on track.

“I'm eagerly anticipating the opportunity to share my journey at the upcoming event at West Lothian College. My goal is to motivate and inspire others to embark on their own entrepreneurial endeavours and get all the help they can, as the support I’ve received from Business Gateway West Lothian for almost four months has truly been a game-changer.”

“The event will be formally opened by Executive Councillor for Economy, Community Empowerment & Wealth Building, Kirsteen Sullivan. 

Councillor Sullivan said, “I know how important new start businesses are to the economy. In West Lothian, the Council’s Business Gateway team helps over 300 new starts every year.  These businesses add more than £14.5 million to West Lothian’s economy. I’d encourage anyone who has always dreamed of being their own boss to come along to the event on the 29th.  Now’s the time to make that business dream a reality.”

You can learn more about the event and book your free space here.

About the author

West Lothian Council

The West Lothian Council News Editor.

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